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If pressure systems or equipment fails, it can seriously injure or kill people and cause serious damage to property.

While designers, manufacturers, suppliers, installers, users and owners are responsible to make sure pressure systems and equipment are safe for use, employers (and self-employed) must also consider it as part of fulfilling their duty to provide a safe workplace and work equipment.

Employers have a further duty to consult any safety or employee representatives on health and safety matters or the workforce directly if there isn’t one.

  • Faulty equipment or system design 
  • Poor maintenance 
  • An unsafe system of work 
  • Operator error (through lack of training/supervision) 
  • Incorrect installation 
  • Inadequate repairs or modifications
  • Boilers and steam heating systems 
  • Pressurised process plant and piping 
  • Compressed air systems (fixed and portable) 
  • Pressure cookers, autoclaves and retorts 
  • Heat exchangers and refrigeration plant 
  • Valves, steam traps and filters 
  • Pipework and hoses 
  • Pressure gauges and level indicators
  • Provide safe and suitable equipment – plant and systems that are designed, constructed and installed with health and safety in mind.
  • Know the operating conditions, so you can make informed decisions about selection, maintenance and controls.
  • Fit suitable protective devices, regularly check they function properly and are being used correctly.
  • Make sure systems are properly maintained by a competent person.
  • Don’t allow any modifications or repairs that might cause danger.
  • Train users appropriately.
  • Get a written scheme of examination drawn up by a competent person (this is required for most pressure systems and equipment).
  • Get examinations carried out in line with the written scheme by a competent person.
  • Keep records of all maintenance, repairs, servicing, examination and inspections of the equipment/system.


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